The Titanic Life
shook up and scared I admit it
I needed to comfort something or somebody
to comfort myself ...
So, I looked at the chickens.
They wouldn't be able to go with
across 5 states and (looking up at me)
they knew it.
But they were going now to a ranch
higher up the mountains
with many more animals, and I told them man!
I'd miss them but what a better, friendly and
chicken-inclusive place they were going to!
Then, with their usual feed I threw in
extra Cheerios. Still, they pecked depressively.
Of course, next ...
I had to put them in their separate
boxes for travel, with all the Bonnie & Clyde
air holes; I saw Black Betty put her tiny eye
to the air hole and look out at me,
shook up and scared.
I touched her through the air hole
she blinked back; see you somewhere later, someday.
Naturally, the dogs were watching all of this
(as the chickens were driven gently away
in the back of a truck by the gentle
Alberto and Theresa, waving)and
when I made eye contact with them
they ran under the bed covers.
Don't sell US that false comfort!
they said, shaking underneath the blankets.
No, you cuties, you ARE going with!
If I'm gonna cry over those chickens you
know I can't say goodbye to you! Then -
stillness, I couldn't see their faces
deep in the bed
but their tails wagged from the sheets,
and then they were stampeding
all eating again.
In the morning a dent in my car elbowed me
in the ribs that someone had hit my car
in the night, but there was a note.
The guy said he'd fix it, sorry, please
call him. I called him and by Friday
he had fixed it; I never met the man,
we were all notes and voices,
but I told him in our last phone call
that he was a good man, all full to the top
with integrity; there was a pause on his end
and he thanked me for that.
Then, I left town.
Driving past the Vegas neon several hours later
(dogs fast asleep in the back; all their fur
red and yellow and pink and blue under the lights)
heading East, I thought
being kind is what we better do,
and I better do it.
we're all steadily sinking
chickens, dogs and us;
all going down to the ice eventually,
so what am I waiting for?
(And who knows what's under that ice?
Pardon this, but it may be cool!)